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A Call For U.S. Treasury Department To Designate Gambino Crime Family As A Transnational Criminal Organization

The Gambino crime family allegedly is strengthening its ties to the old country, and the supposed move may prove its undoing under a recently issued Executive Order by President Barack Obama which authorizes the Treasury Department to designate transnational crime groups in order to freeze their U.S. assets and ban American citizens and companies from conducting business with them.

The Treasury Department through its Office of Foreign Assets Control was granted the authority to take enforcement action against designated transnational crime groups under Executive Order 13581 issued on July 24, 2011 pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, and in an accompanying statement President Obama said the following:

The activities of significant transnational criminal organizations . . . have reached such scope and gravity that they threaten the stability of international political and economic systems.  Such organizations are becoming increasingly sophisticated and dangerous to the United States; they are increasingly entrenched in the operations of foreign governments and the international financial system, thereby weakening democratic institutions, degrading the rule of law, and undermining economic markets.  These organizations facilitate and aggravate violent civil conflicts and increasingly facilitate the activities of other dangerous persons.  I therefore determine that significant transnational criminal organizations constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States, and hereby declare a national emergency to deal with that threat.

In the eighteen months since Executive Order 13581 was issued several transnational crime groups have been put on the Treasury Department’s blacklist including the Yakuza from Japan, the Camorra or Neapolitan Mafia in Italy, Mexican drug cartel Los Zetas and Central America’s Mara Salvatrucha or MS-13.

Perhaps the Gambino crime family may be next.   Although all five of New York’s Mafia families allegedly have ties to the Sicilian Mafia the Gambinos reportedly are most deeply entrenched with their overseas paesanos.  Apparently several of its reputed leaders “have strong ties to Sicily” including through the Palermo-based Inzerillo clan as reported by Ed Scarpo for Cosa Nostra News.  A Wikipedia entry for the “Inzerillo-Gambino Mafia clan” claims it “is a transatlantic Mafia family, based in Palermo and New York City,” and further alleges:

In Sicily, the family clan is centered around the Inzerillo, the Spatola and Di Maggio families, while in the United States the Sicilian faction in the Gambino crime family is the core of the group. The Inzerillo clan hailed from the Passo di Ragano neighbourhood in Palermo. They were relatives of New York City Mafia boss Carlo Gambino.

The supposed Gambino and Inzerillo alliance in the past allegedly has been involved in the global heroin trade.  Moreover, U.S. and Italian law enforcement previously have alleged ties between the Gambino crime family and the Santa Maria di Gesu clan from the Sicilian Mafia as reported by Bob Norman for Broward-Palm Beach New Times.

A U.S.-entrenched crime group can be designated on the black list since the criteria is only that it has a foreign component with an adverse impact to the United States.  Executive Order 13581 defines a “transnational criminal organization” as a group of persons . . . that includes one or more foreign persons; that engages in an ongoing pattern of serious criminal activity involving the jurisdictions of at least two foreign states; and that threatens the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States.”  Accordingly, in designating MS-13 which originated in Los Angeles, CA as a transnational criminal organization, the Treasury Department stated last month in its press release that “MS-13 is active within the United States, with at least 8,000 members operating in more than 40 states and the District of Columbia,” and “money generated by local MS-13 cliques in the U.S. is consolidated and funneled to the group’s leadership in El Salvador.”

There’s no doubt that the Treasury Department is continuing to make its black list for transnational criminal organizations and checking it twice.  The program was launched only eighteen months ago, and is obviously incomplete.  For example, although the Camorra or Neapolitan Mafia is designated, La Cosa Nostra or the Sicilian Mafia and the ‘Ndrangheta or Calabrian Mafia are glaring omissions since they have a more substantial impact on the United States.  Indeed, when La Cosa Nostra and the ‘Ndrangheta likely are added, don’t be surprised to see the accompanying designation of some reputed U.S.-based mobsters and crime families for their alleged entanglement with these Italian criminal organizations.

Designating the Gambino crime family as a transnational criminal organization would financially squeeze it out of existence.  All the U.S. bank accounts, real estate and business concerns which are affiliated with its purported members and associates would be frozen, and no American could engage in any financial or business transactions with them.  In one fell swoop the Treasury Department through the Office of Foreign Assets Control would do more to undermine the Gambino crime family than more than fifty years of criminal prosecutions.

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